How GroenLinks connects politicians throughout the country

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by Niki

How GroenLinks connects politicians throughout the country

In politics, it's important to be an all-rounder. Bastiaan de Leeuw is chairman of GroenLinks Alkmaar and project manager at the party's national office in Utrecht. The combination of these two roles helped de Leeuw understand what his colleagues need: a central place for all council members, aldermen and members of parliament to find and help each other.

elkaar vinden en helpen op Plek

Do it yourself

During the run-up to the elections, GroenLinks' local campaign leaders and party chairmen used Slack. "We liked the direct way of contacting colleagues, but using the paid version of Slack with hundreds of users would have been way too expensive for us."

De Leeuw found out about Plek. "It's a Dutch company with short lines of communication - a great way to work together. We immediately noticed their focus on personal assistance during the deployment of Plek social intranet. They're really invested and besides, they're very clear on what we have to do ourselves to make a success out of our platform. For example, we need to explain to our colleagues that Facebook and WhatsApp are not the right tools to use for achieving our communication goals - without forcing them to use Plek.”

oogje

Community manager watches over Plek and inspires colleagues 

Before and during the launch of Plek, de Leeuw took the lead. Soon after that, GroenLinks hired a community manager. "If you want your social intranet to be a success, you need to invest time in it. If you leave it to the crowd - it just won't work. You need someone to be keen on it. Our community manager stimulates and inspires, creates content, operates the help desk and monitors Plek's channels. Because it's a waste to have three or four groups who are all reinventing the same wheel."

"If you leave it to the crowd - it just won't work. You need someone to be keen on it."


Bastiaan de Leeuw, chairman of GroenLinks Alkmaar and project manager at GroenLinks' national office

Greater clout through collaboration and sharing knowledge

De Leeuw united over 650 council members and 110 aldermen on Plek. The party consists of over 100 active departments. There's a Plek group for every province and department, but also for themes such as care, animal welfare and the environment.

The ultimate goal: increasing political strength by sharing knowledge and by making use of the experience of others. Before implementing Plek social intranet, sharing knowledge and collaborating was difficult. De Leeuw explains: "I used to browse the websites of our local departments to figure out what they were working on. Or I picked up on something somewhere and googled it to get the complete picture. And then sometimes I would find what I was looking for. But now, people just post everything on Plek. That's how the conversation gets started.”

verbinding

As another example, de Leeuw mentions an issue about the Statiegeld Alliantie. "It's an appeal to the government to also charge a deposit on small bottles and cans. Someone shared the another party's critical questions on Plek. This sparked a long chain of replies with advice on how to respond to these questions. Before Plek, it was a lot harder to collect that kind of input. Now, by posting one specific questions on Plek, we can reach all council members who have sustainability in their portfolio, plus all of the aldermen who deal with this."

A sense of community

“At the same time, we wanted to strengthen the sense of community within our party. That's why we chose to also use top-down communication. Our community manager publishes bi-weekly interviews with council members on Plek. They elaborate on their motivation to become a council member and on the issues they encounter on the job. This kind of human interest works well on Plek. We noticed that many people read these interviews."

“Channels such as Facebook and WhatsApp are not right for us. Our role is to explain this to our colleagues. This does mean that we also have to offer them a good alternative - we made that happen with Plek.


Bastiaan de Leeuw, chairman of GroenLinks Alkmaar and project manager at GroenLinks' national office

De Leeuw is happy to have a central place for council members, aldermen and members of parliament to find and help each other. This also brought an end to the proliferation of groups on Facebook and WhatsApp. Plek, that's where it happens for GroenLinks employees throughout the country.